Escapism. That’s why I love video games. When playing you are not thinking or worrying about anything else. A good game can completely immerse you in it, and during this time it can feel like nothing else matters. All you are worried about is completing the level, scoring a goal, taking the next lap faster or swearing across the Internet at the person/cheat/no life sad bastard in a faraway land, who has bested you in online competition. Except he/she didn’t best you. They cheated. You’re sure they did. Probably.
Therefore, as I’m sure you may have worked out, this blog will mainly, alongside a few sci-fi musings and odd things that piss me off, be about video games. This won’t be about games in general on different formats, it will be about my experience with a particular game or format based on what I am either currently playing or what I have played previously.
Before I post my first musings, I thought it best to give some gaming background on yours truly so that in future posts, whilst you might not agree, you may at least appreciate where I’m coming from.
First things first, I’m a console gamer. I’m very aware that those words will get me called some colourful things in some quarters of the internet, so before we continue allow me to explain/defend myself.
For starters please don’t think that I have anything against PC gaming or that I feel console gaming is superior in any way. The reason that I became a console gamer in the first place is very simple: I can’t play a game using a keyboard for the life of me. There are certain things in life you just excel at being shite at. Mine is gaming with a keyboard. I’m like a fish trying to climb a tree. Yes, yes I know that you can use a controller but I’m still haunted by my failings on my friends Amiga’s and Atari ST’s when I was younger and it has scarred me ever since. Truth be told, once I discovered the joys of the joypad (showing my age calling it that) via another friend’s NES I never looked back.
So aside from a Championship Manager (that’s what Football Manager used to be called kids) and Star Wars Battlegrounds addiction in the early 2000’s, the PC has never appealed to me as my go-to gaming machine.
As far as handheld/mobile gaming goes I’ve had a Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and a PlayStation Portable over the years, but rightly or wrongly I don’t hold these in the same regard as consoles. I played handhelds when I couldn’t play a console and I play games on my mobile when I’m having a shit.
So onto consoles. Since I got my first, a games console (or two) has always been part of my entertainment set up. My rap sheet reads as follows:
- Sega Megadrive
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System
- Mega CD
- PlayStation 2
- Xbox 360
- Xbox One
As you can see, my recent console history has been of the Microsoft variety. After annoying one half of the Internet with my PC gaming confession above, I’m pretty sure that last statement has divided the rest of you.
However please don’t think that my Xbox devotion is anything to do with fanboyism (not sure that’s a word but it’s my blog so it is now) or that I have this urge to give Microsoft more money. I started on my Xbox journey for the following reasons:
Halo – I won’t lie to you; I was sucked in by the hype. I am forever delighted that I was.
Knights of the Old Republic – A Star Wars game that was an RPG, letting you choose Dark Side or Light, and most importantly wasn’t shit. Yes, I know it was released on PC but I refer you back to my comments above. Truth is if this had been released on PS2 it could’ve all been different.
The controller – (No, not the stupid ass big thing that was released at launch, the refined controller S). This is probably the reason it wasn’t different. My brother had a PS1 and PS2. I loved them both but midway through the PS1’s life cycle Sony released their Duel Shock Analogue controller. I hated the thing. Mainly because more and more games starting using the left analogue stick as default for moving around and my issue was, and still is, that Sony has positioned this in the wrong sodding place. I was never comfortable with it. The Xbox controller in comparison was the pooch’s plums. Everything was exactly where I wanted it. The whole layout just worked. Brilliantly.
I upgraded to the 360 for the same reasons (just swap Knights of the Old Republic for Mass Effect) plus backwards compatibility. Sure the PS3 had Blu-Ray, but that didn’t bother me at the time and the dreaded “Red Ring of Death” on the 360 luckily didn’t happen to me until I was well down the road with it. By the time it did, I used it as an excuse to get a facelift one with a bigger hard drive. Besides, Sony hadn’t fixed their controller.
For the Xbox One, again it was for Halo, the controller as well a few things 360 had introduced me to such as Xbox Live (before anyone chimes in, no, it has never bothered me that I have to pay for it) and Gears of War. Quite frankly whichever manufacturer was going to give me the chance to run around with a chainsaw bayonet was always going to get my vote. As it was only a matter of time before Halo and Gears would appear I decided to keep my gaming in Microsoft’s camp for this generation of console. Added bonus that backwards compatibility is now on the way for the Xbox One
So there we have it, my justifications of why I play what I play. Again these are just my opinions, I’m not saying consoles are better than PC’s or that Microsoft is better than Sony, I just felt the need to outline why my posts will probably appeal to those with an Xbox persuasion who also suck at using a keyboard. Oh and people who also think that Sony still hasn’t fixed that pissing controller…